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*The International Test of English Proficiency
or iTEP is a language assessment tool that
measures the English skills of non-native
English speakers. The test is supported by
more than 600 institutions including the
California State University system. The test
is available in more than 40 countries, and is
also used by businesses, and governments
such as Saudi Arabia, Colombia, and
Mexico for large-scale initiatives. In 2014,
iTEP saw rapid growth in China, adding more
than 100 test centers in the country.
*The primary function of the iTEP is to assess the English
language proficiency of learners of English as a second
language. iTEP is a comprehensive, Internet-based
exam that takes no longer than 90 minutes to administer.
The iTEP tests proficiency in Reading, Listening,
Writing and Speaking. There is also a section that tests
familiarity with grammar. In the Writing and Speaking
sections, test-takers produce actual writing and speaking
samples which are graded by trained ESL professionals
in the U.S. The Official iTEP Score Report shows the
test-taker’s overall level, as well as levels attained on
each of the 5 sections (Reading, Listening, Writing,
Speaking and Grammar).
*iTEP is a trademark of Boston Educational
Services, which was co-founded by former ELS
Language Centers President Perry Akins and
business partner Sharif Ossayran. The test was
first launched in 2008 for colleges,
universities, and international programs,
with versions for secondary schools,
businesses, and the hospitality industry
*Required of all incoming International Students
*Test fee is $99.00, cash, check or money order payable to
Cleveland State University must be submitted with a completed
*The iTEP can be taken at any official test site around the world.
*You should call the test site directly to schedule an appointment.
*You will need to request your score recipient as Cleveland State
University on the day of testing.
*Scores range from 0 (Beginning) to 6 (Advanced)
*Pass the ITEP with a minimum of an overall score of 5 (with no
section below 4)*
**Current equivalent scores required by the College of Business for
applicants for Business or Computer Science will require a
minimum overall score of 6 (with no section below 5).
*In addition, International Admissions will
*An overall score of 4 or below for
conditional admission at the undergraduate
level and will require the applicant to first
enroll in the Intensive English Language
There are four iTEP exams:
iTEPAcademic is used by colleges, universities for
admissions purposes. It also used on-site by intensive
English programs (IEPs) for placement, progress, and
iTEP SLATE evaluates high school, secondary
school, and middle school students, and is used by
boarding schools and academies. Between June 2012
and June 2013, the number of US institutions
recognizing this test quadrupled. This growth is largely
due to the retirement of ETS's SLEP exam and the
limited availability of their TOEFL Junior test.
iTEP Business measures the English skills needed for a
work environment. It is used by companies to screen new
hires, make decisions about promotions and assignments,
and evaluate English training programs.
iTEP Hospitality measures the English skills necessary
to work at restaurants, hotels, resorts, and cruise lines that
serve English speakers. The test lasts 30 minutes and
evaluates speaking and listening. It is typically
administered onsite by an employer for hiring and
iTEP Academic, SLATE, and
Business each have a
The "core" versions are Internet-based, last 60
minutes, and test reading, grammar and listening.
• The "plus" versions last 90 minutes in total and also
test writing and speaking, requiring the test taker to
submit writing and speaking samples via computer.
Results are available instantly on the multiple-choice
"core" sections, and the speaking and writing results
are graded in 5 business days.
• The "plus" exams retail for $99USD and can be
scheduled within 3 days, making iTEP one of the most
flexible and least expensive options among its
competitors, which include TOEFL and IELTS.
Institutions and businesses administering iTEP exams
on-site receive discounted rates.
Reading – 20 minutes
One intermediate-level passage about 250
words in length followed by multiple-choice
One college-level monograph approximately
450 words long followed by multi-choice
Listening – 20 minutes
Four high-beginning to low-intermediate-level
short conversational exchanges of 2-3 sentences,
each followed by 1 multiple-choice question
One 2-3 minute intermediate-level conversational
exchange followed by multi-choice questions
One 4-minute college-level lecture followed by
Grammar (Structure) – 10 minutes
Twenty-five written multiple-choice
questions, each of which tests the
examinee’s familiarity with a key feature of
English structure The section includes a
range of structures from simple to more
complex, as well as a range of vocabulary
from beginning to advanced. There are two
question format types, each illustrated with
Writing – 25 minutes
In response to instructions phrased at the low-
intermediate level, examinee is asked to write a
short note on a supplied topic (5 minutes: 50-
Examinee is presented with a brief, college-
level written topic and is asked to express and
support his/her opinion on the topic (20
minutes: 175-225 words)
Speaking – 5 minutes
Examinee hears and reads a short question
phrased at the low-intermediate level;
examinee has 30 seconds to prepare his/her
spoken response, and 45 seconds to speak
Examinee hears a brief college-level
statement presenting two sides of an issue,
examinee is then asked to give his/her
thoughts on the topic (45 seconds to
prepare, 60 seconds to speak).
iTEP scores individuals on a scale of 1-6
(at 0.5 intervals) for each section of the
test as well as an overall score. Each
level translates to CEFR levels and an
equivalent range of scores on other
language proficiency exams.
• The test can be scheduled on-demand at test centers all
over the world
• Results are available instantly or in five days, depending
on whether writing and speaking are tested
• Test-taker data, test scores, and speaking and writing
samples are available to partner institutions online anytime
• In each section, iTEP assesses linguistic sub-skills, such
as understanding the main idea vs. details
in the reading section
• The test lasts no more than 90 minutes
In 2014, BES released the Official iTEP Preparation
Guide. The Prep Guide consists of a 133-page printed
book intended to familiarize test-takers with the format of
the tests, and two practice tests, one to be taken before
reading the book as a diagnostic, and another to be taken
at the end as a comparison. The writing and speaking
portions of the test are self-graded to help test-takers
grasp the criteria that will be used to evaluate their work.
The Prep Guide is sold online for about $27USD.
List of the places iTEP is used
* District Of Columbia